I've been criticized earlier in the comments for having a "hard-on" for Massachusetts. This is a legitimate criticism. I am constantly guilty of romanticizing my home commonwealth. So, to counter-balance that totally fair complaint, I offer something that is far better in DC than in MA: Cops.
It's true! Police officers in DC have never been anything but kind to me. Cops up in Cape Cod are nothing but trouble. They will pull over anyone who is under 25 or has out-of-state plates. They're vicious and they will get you. They are predators. When I was 17, I got pulled over and had my car impounded for being a designated driver! How does that happen!?! I understand the curfew laws and all, but, I was preventing drunken driving. Come on cops, throw me a bone. Ugh. If only I was Kennedy.
If anyone reading this is planning on spending some time on the Cape, watch out. Especially Dennis and Chatham cops. They're the worst. And never forget that they are targeting you.
But in DC, no problems. I'm sure individuals have their horror stories. It's a big city and bad things happen. I'm only dealing with personal experience, which is fairly limited. But, even in the "bad" parts of DC, the cops have been nothing but helpful to me.
So, the cops here are great. Of course, there's a problem. There's always a problem. While the police have never given me a hard time, I've had to deal with them an awful lot. The problem isn't the police, it's the people calling the police. People here will call the cops at the mere sight of a keg.
Last Saturday I hosted a BBQ. I am a wonderful neighbor and a generally friendly dude, so no one had a problem with our reverie. The party was a total success. Hurray! (Props to my roommates as well. You know, for doing all the planning and stuff.)
A couple of doors down, there was a rival event. AU field hockey girls. Someone called the cops on them. At 8:30pm on a Saturday night. Granted, they were a little louder than us. And instead of the hipster music coming from our speakers, they were playing Kelly Clarkson. I know she's America's Sweetheart and all, but that's kind of asking for it. Still, 8:30pm. On a weekend. To put that in perspective, that's not even halfway through Snick. "Honey, call the cops! Those damned kids are interrupting Roundhouse again!"
(Full SNICK disclosure: I totally cried when I saw series finale of Clarissa Explains It All. I know! LAME! I caught it on late-night reruns when I was a senior in high school. What can I say, THE PRESSURES OF GOING TO COLLEGE AND MAKING NEW FRIENDS WERE VERY SCARY AND REAL FOR ME. Leave me alone!)
(Also, I wonder what Sam is doing right now. I hope it involves ladders.)
The number of times that I've been to a party interrupted by the police are countless. Almost every single time, there was no warning from neighbors. No courtesy call to keep it down. Just an immediate call to the local fuzz. It's an interesting combination of rudeness and cowardice.
The police are always cool about it, telling us to break it up and file out quietly. I get the feeling that there are other things they'd rather be doing than dealing with rowdy young adults. I thank them for their patience and understanding. If only the neighbors with the quick trigger-fingers would extend us the same courtesies.